Rhode Island Mall
Rhode Island Mall is an outdoor power center under redevelopment in the building of a former two-story, enclosed shopping mall in Warwick, Rhode Island. The property opened as the Midland Mall in October 1967; for several years, it co-existed with the nearby Warwick Mall that opened in 1970. The mall was renamed the Rhode Island Mall in March 1985, and experienced rapid decline as tenants relocated to the Warwick Mall in the 1990s. It was considered a dead mall by the 2000s, and the interior of the mall was closed permanently in April 2011. The property was sold in 2012 and has been under redevelopment into its current configuration as a power center since 2016.
|Location||Warwick, Rhode Island, US|
|Opening date||October 1967|
|Closing date||April 30, 2011|
|Developer||Homart Development Company|
|No. of stores and services||60|
|No. of anchor tenants||4 (3 open, 1 vacant)|
|Total retail floor area||579,499 square feet (53,837.2 m2)|
|No. of floors||2|
The mall was originally anchored by Sears and Shepards. The latter eventually became G. Fox, and later Filene's, before being divided into Kohl's and Walmart. The former is currently being converted into At Home and Raymour & Flanigan. The interior of the mall was turned into Burlington, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Planet Fitness.
The land on which the mall sits was pasture land when Homart Development Company (the mall building subsidiary of Sears) purchased it in 1963. To accommodate the mall, a hill was leveled and the course of the Pawtuxet River was altered. The Rhode Island Mall opened in October 1967 as the Midland Mall that included 60 shops. Its anchors were Sears and Providence based Shepards department store. Homart sold the mall to MetLife in 1981 for $20 million. It was officially renamed the "Rhode Island Mall" in March 1985.
In 1988, May Department Stores acquired Boston-based department store chain Filene's. May merged its previously owned G. Fox division into Filene's in 1993, and converted all of its stores, including the Rhode Island Mall location, to the Filene's name. Filene's closed their Rhode Island Mall location four years later, in favor of the existing store at Warwick Mall. After the closure of Filene's, nearly one-third of the mall (including both the former Filene's and the food court) was demolished for a two-level anchor, featuring Kohl's on one level and Wal-Mart on the other. When it became clear that neither store would open into the mall concourse, most of the remaining shops vacated, turning Rhode Island Mall into a dead mall.
Rhode Island Mall was a dead mall, and has been listed on Deadmalls.com.[dead link] Its anchors are Kohl's, Wal-Mart, and Sears. Sears was the last to open into the mall interior, but began leaving their gates down permanently in early 2011, finally closing access off via a partition wall in March 2011.
Rhode Island Mall also has five detached buildings in the parking lot occupied by Toys "R" Us, Wendy's, Chuck E Cheese's, On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina and Sears Automotive. Sears Automotive closed in 2015. Despite the lack of storefronts in the mall, the fountain in the center of the mall, as well as the elevator and escalators, continued to operate on a daily basis. The mall also continued to staff a maintenance and custodian crew as well as a 24-hour security detail provided by IPC International Security. In April 2011 mall management closed access to the mall's interior. The only three stores still open in the interior of the mall by the time it closed were a local sporting goods store, LensCrafters and GNC.
On November 14, 2012, Winstanley Enterprises, LLC. of Concord, MA and Surrey Equities, LLC. of New York, NY announced they had purchased the mall for $38 million. A formal statement released by Adam Winstanley, a Principal of Winstanley Enterprises said, "There is a rich history with this property, and we are very excited to breathe new life into the development by putting together a plan that will once again position the mall as a vibrant part of Warwick's retail hub."
As of February 2016 the mall has undergone construction to create space for four "big box" style tenants instead of the original outlet style plan. Burlington Coat Factory has been confirmed as one of the leasees. Construction was slated to be finished by September 2016, although the remaining three rental spaces have yet to be filled.
It was announced that Dick's Sporting Goods and Planet Fitness will be relocating to the mall from their original locations. BJ's Brewhouse announced that they would be opening their first Rhode Island (and New England) location there as well.
In September 2017, Sears closed its store as it was one of 20 stores to close nationwide.
It was announced in October 2017 that Raymour & Flanigan will be relocating to the mall from its original location, taking over the first floor of the former Sears. At Home will also relocate from it original location to the mall, taking over the second floor of the former Sears, due to a lawsuit they had with Home Depot, which is in the same plaza as the original At Home location. Portions of the former Sears Auto Center are now BJ's Restaurants and Hook & Reel. Wendy's, On the Border, and Chuck E. Cheese's are also outparcels on the Seritage site.
- "Rhode Island Mall". International Council of Shopping Centers. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved March 14, 2008.
- "Sale Closing Nears for Rhode Island Mall". The Providence Journal. December 4, 1997. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
- "Midland Mall gets new look and name". The Providence Journal. November 11, 1984. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
- Gwynne Morgan (March 17, 1985). "Advertising, marketing Midland Mall changes its name and tries to change its image". The Providence Journal. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
- Moore, Russell J. (June 5, 2007). "Rhody's first mall listed on deadmalls.com". WarwickOnline.com. Retrieved March 3, 2008.
- Grimaldi, Paul (August 7, 2014). "Rhode Island Mall owners envision outlet shopping in Warwick / Photos". Providence Journal.
- "Sale of Rhode Island Mall to Baltimore company complete". WPRO. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
- Group, Sinclair Broadcast (November 15, 2012). "Providence News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News - WJAR". TurnTo10.com. Retrieved October 12, 2017.[permanent dead link]
- "Developer may transform Rhode Island Mall into outlets". WPRI.com. August 7, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- "Rhode Island Mall interior demolition begins as part of redevelopment project - Providence Business News". PBN.com. 11 November 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2017.